When Michael Phelps announced his retirement along at the 2016 Rio Olympics he really did not have intention of swimming competitively again. However, that changed if your decorated athlete was approached by the Discovery Channel to aid start up Shark Week having a race against one of many world’s fastest and a lot efficient predators – a great white!
To you’ll find the big event, Phelps, who’s got set 39 world records and garnered 28 Olympic medals, practiced by racing against a reef and a hammerhead shark C both computer generated, naturally. Whilst the swimmer’s time of 18.7 seconds was enough to conquer the reef shark by 0.2 seconds, he fell behind the hammerhead, which completed the 50-meter distance in 15.1 seconds.
On Sunday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, over five million viewers tuned into watch the highly anticipated Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White. To compete effectively from the ferocious fish that can swim at speeds of as much as 25 mph, or about 5x faster than humans, Phelps wore a custom wetsuit. It wasn’t only which is designed to reduce drag, but in addition featured a fin to mimic the shark’s powerful tail.
While television viewers saw the competitors swimming sideways, in reality, Phelps raced alone from the cold Atlantic waters off Cape Town, Africa. The Discovery Channel film crew then inserted his computer-generated opponent simulating an actual shark’s speed, which had been estimated by luring a fantastic white by using a fake seal within the same 100-meter stretch on the Atlantic.
Though Phelps had been able complete the gap in a impressive 38.1 seconds, 9.41 seconds faster than his personal best of 47.51 seconds, he had not been match for that great shark, which clocked 36.1 seconds. Similar to a true champion, the fish celebrated the victory by leaping out of your water. Phelps, meanwhile, took losing in good humor, tweeting: “Rematch? Next occasion…warmer water.”
The swimmer later said, “Honestly, the earliest considered that underwent my head whenever i saw the shark, there’s probably little chance for me to get rid of him.”
While some fans were disappointed that Phelps wouldn’t race a live shark in the ocean, staging which would have already been dangerous for that swimmer. Besides, Discovery Channel’s aim in organizing the stunt ended up being to generate excitement and fascination with sharks. Since it was actually the highest-rated Shark Week special during the program’s 29-year history, they sure succeeded.
This isn’t the brand new a star athlete has competed against a creature. NFL wide receiver Dennis Northcutt once raced an ostrich, while Olympic 200-meters champion Shawn Crawford sprinted alongside a giraffe. Bryan Habana, a rugby player, went a measure further and attempted to tackle the earth’s fastest land animal C the cheetah. However, despite a 35-meter head start, he was struggle to beat the wild cat that could be ideal for reaching speeds as much as 70 mph!
Resources: Guardian.co.uk, vox.com,businessinsider.com,bbc.com, vanityfair.com, independent.co.uk